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Classic Lasagna Bolognese, the original recipe of Bologna

Lasagna Bolognese recipe

Over the centuries, Bologna has also won the appellation of The Fat for dishes such as lasagna Bolognese.

However, when, in 1891, Pellegrino Artusi published the book Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, which marked the birth of modern Italian cuisine, the Italian gastronome did not mention any regional lasagna recipes. That is a sign that, although lasagna had been known for centuries, it had fallen into disuse when Artusi collected the recipes for his book.

Indeed, the recipe for green lasagna Bolognese is not very ancient, taking shape only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The yellow pasta sheet becomes green, and the filling of cheese and spinach (finished in the pasta sheet) is replaced by meat sauce. Béchamel has been permanently among the ingredients since the 1930s, but many people remember lasagna without it still in the 1950s-60s.

In 2003, the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered the recipe at the local Chamber of Commerce, defining the ingredients and characteristics of lasagna Bolognese: spinach sheet not too thin; Bolognese meat sauce, béchamel, and Parmesan. It has seven layers; the last is without meat sauce (only béchamel and grated Parmesan).

Those layers of meat sauce and béchamel sauce held by a glossy green pasta sheet are a triumph of colors and flavors. The crispy corners, the béchamel that, when you cut lasagna, seems undecided whether to show itself or remain embraced by the ragù, the fragrance, and its richness make it a unique dish where adjectives such as rich, decadent, and baroque seem to have come dancing out of the dictionary, especially for the occasion.

My favorite moment is when I sink the knife into the hot lasagna. A cloud of fragrance envelops me for a moment, taking me back in time and evoking happy tables and cherished memories of dear people.


Lasagna Bolognese recipe

How to make traditional lasagna bolognese

This recipe consists of three main preparations

  • Bolognese sauce
  • béchamel sauce
  • green pasta sheet

For this reason, it requires planning. Each step claims time for cooking and resting, especially ragù and the assembling lasagna (if you can, cook it a day in advance). Usually, lasagna Bolognese is a project I reserve for the weekend when I have more time.

When I prepare them, this is my working scheme:
  • I prepare the ragù the day before assembling the lasagna.
  • The next day, I make béchamel and sfoglia.
    I blanch the green pasta sheet rectangles in boiling water and place them on a dish towel. If you do this step the day before you make the lasagna, lay them on a plate so they don’t touch each other, separated by sheets of baking paper. Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • At this point, the ingredients are ready. Is it lasagna assembling day?
    I arrange the ingredients on the table, preheat the oven, and assemble the lasagna.

The sfoglia of lasagna Bolognese is always green and made of spinach, not nettle. If you prefer, you can buy ready-made green sheet rectangles at the market. Remember to blanch them, always.

The ragù is Bolognese sauce. The béchamel has the scent of nutmeg.
There are seven layers. If you stop at 5, it is okay. The last one is not covered with meat sauce but only with béchamel, a few flakes of butter, and grated Parmesan.

After assembling the lasagna in the baking dish, cook it in the oven for about half an hour, but no more.
Just enough time to bind the ingredients, already cooked, together. Let the lasagna rest for a few minutes before serving. If you prepare them in advance, heat the pan in a preheated oven by covering it with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out too much.

Buona cucina, Monica


The traditional Bolognese sauce recipe is on the blog: HERE. To make a green lasagna of 7 or 5 layers, you will need 1/2 kg of ragù.

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Green pasta sheet


Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna Bolognese is a classic dish of Bolognese and Italian cuisine. This 7-layer lasagna is prepared with green sfoglia, Bolognese sauce, béchamel sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
Course First Course
Cuisine Bolognese
Keyword Lasagna Bolognese
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings


Green pasta sheet

  • 80 g of of boiled and squeezed spinach
  • 2 normal eggs (120 g without eggshell)
  • 300 g 00 flour This is the amount for making 7-layer lasagna. If you want to make a 5-layer, you can remove 1 egg and 100 g of flour; alternatively, you can buy a package of ready-made green pasta rectangles.


  • 50 g of butter
  • 50 g of 00 flour or cornstarch
  • 5 g of salt
  • 1/2 g of grated nutmeg
  • 500 ml of milk even lactose-free (ditto for butter)

In addition

  • 500 g of Bolognese sauce look for the recipe on the blog:
  • 100 g of grated Parmigiano
  • burro to taste


Green pasta sheet

  • Blend 1 egg in the blender with spinach and keep aside.
  • Place the flour on the cutting board and make a hole in the center.
  • Shell the egg in the middle and, with a spatula, add in the one blended with the spinach.
  • Using a fork, gradually incorporate the flour into the well in a circular motion until large breadcrumbs form. From that point, knead the dough on a clean surface until smooth, firm, and well-combined, about 10 minutes.
  • Form a ball, wrap the dough tightly in cling film, or put it under a bowl, and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours at room temperature. If storing overnight, refrigerate, then bring back to room temperature before use.
  • After resting, roll out the dough sheet thin with a rolling pin or the pasta machine.
  • Using a dough cutter, cut out 7 (or five) pasta rectangles of the same size and dimensions as your baking dish.
  • Cook them in salted boiling water for one minute, one rectangle at a time. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the pieces of green sfoglia, lay them on a clean tea towel, and set aside.


  • Melt the butter on a small stove and low flame, then remove the pan from the stove.
  • Add flour, salt, and nutmeg; with a hand whisk, stir vigorously so that no lumps form.
  • Put the pan back on the stove for a minute to toast the flour, then add the milk, a little at a time, constantly stirring. Continue until the spoon meets resistance, then turn off the stove.
  • Make sure to put a layer of cling film on the surface of the sauce to prevent skin from forming. Alternatively, you can stick a cube of butter into a wooden toothpick and grease the surface of the sauce.

Assembling Lasagna Bolognese

  • Preheat oven to 180C degrees (356F).
  • Place half a tablespoon of béchamel sauce on the bottom of the baking dish to hold the first rectangle of the pasta sheet in place.
  • Arrange a piece of sfoglia on the bottom of the baking dish. Spread 2 generous tablespoons of the meat sauce. Now, add 2 tablespoons of béchamel sauce, spread lightly with a metal spoon, and finally sprinkle with 20 g Parmesan cheese. Cover with another rectangle of green pasta sheet and apply light pressure with your fingers.
  • Repeat everything for each layer until the last one. You must cover it by spreading a light layer of béchamel sauce (see photo below recipe). Finally, sprinkle with 20 g of Parmesan cheese, add a few flakes of butter, and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove the aluminum lid and bake for another 10 minutes or until the edges and corners turn golden brown and crisp.
  • Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Food tips

  • If you can, prepare the ragu and lasagna in advance.
  • Store the lasagna in the refrigerator for 3 days, then reheat it in a preheated oven by covering the baking tray with aluminum foil.
  • You can freeze the lasagna and store it in the freezer for up to a month.
  • You can make the béchamel the day before using it, especially if you need it thick, and store it in the refrigerator for a few days.

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